Why Facebook restrict your post reach

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Does Santa use Social Media?

Does Santa use Social Media?

Looking at the evidence I would say so…  Social Media helps with -

Networking – Everyone knows Santa, what he does and when he does it.  How he does it is the closely guarded secret…

Brand Awareness – Santa is one of the most successful globally recognized brands.  And he doesn’t advertise, no flyers, no call centre’s, no TV – and how his clients flock to him!  Has to be his Social Media, google ‘santa’ and you get over 2Bn results… 

In Bound Marketing - Given one of the goals and major benefits of Social Media is 'In Bound' marketing.  Where clients and prospective clients come to you.  Santa's historically been THE master of inbound marketing...   Because of Santa’s strong Brand Awareness?

Improved Communications - With millions of children, and some 39 year olds, regularly writing to him, despite sending the letters via the chimney, Santa gets every single letter.  But now Santa’s simplified it all and you can email Santa, Directly Message Santa on Twitter and even post on his Facebook wall.

So how would Santa use Social Media

  • List’s.  With Social Media Santa research’s his market.  Learning people’s desires and what they have been up to.  So he can check – “Who has been Naughty and Who has been Nice”, and its digital so EASY to check twice.
  • Follow trends.  Santa knows whether he’s getting  mince pies or stolen cake (cookies and milk are so last year).
  • Recruitment.  Santa needs more Elves and Toy Makers, there are 176 vacancies for ‘Santa’s Helpers’ on LinkedIn…
  • Following trends he knows peoples wants and needs.  So Santa’s good at logistics, from Sourcing gifts online to delivering millions of presents World Wide in one night, and we can track his route – check out the excellent Santa tracker at http://www.noradsanta.org/

Then he brings it all together on his website http://www.northpole.com/


Monday, 19 November 2012

Finding Time to be Social

Finding Time to be Social

We’ve covered a lot ground in the last 9 articles, and the most common question I get asked is “how do you find time for all these platforms, followers, blogs, updates “ etc etc.  This month we look at 4 tools for Managing your Social Media.   LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+…  logging in to so many accounts can be daunting and time consuming.  Let me introduce Social Media aggregation and dashboards, apps to help you manage your Social Media, BufferApp and Hootsuite.

BUFFERAPP.COM – If you are relatively new to social media, bufferapp is a nice, easy to understand, easy to use introduction to managing your social media.  Buffer users a straightforward, intuitive interface to schedule tweets, and gives some simple analytical data.

SOCIALOOMPH.COM  - A cloud based twitter (and facebook / blog if you subscribe) management tool.  Social oomph will also help you schedule tweets, but it has some clever extra functions like helping you vet new followers, spot keywords people use to find you, analaytics and you can set up ‘auto responders’ to automate thank you’s / replies  when someone follows you etc.

TWEETDECK.COM – is a social media dashboard for twitter and facebook, very useful for quick overview and monitoring of multiple accounts, or running continual searches.  Easier to use than Social Oomph, but with fewer features, and FREE.

HOOTSUITE.COM  - If you are more experienced with Social Media, you should look at Hootsuite.  A social media dashboard that helps you monitor, post and explore ALL of your social media activity and only needing to login to one place.  Comprehensive connectivity with just about every social media resource you could wish for, and custom analytics that can tell you how things are going.  A basic hootsuite account is FREE.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Introduction to Blogging

In this, my 9th blog introducing Social Networking, we move on from looking at ‘operational’ matters, such as what tools and websites we should be using for our Social Networking, and we start looking at content.  In a nutshell, Social Networking is about getting your digital messages out there, ‘findable’ and easily sharable – to get yourself noticed and spread your message further.

So, what messages and how do we start telling people about ourselves?  One way is to start blogging.

What is a blog?  The word stands for ’web log’ and can be considered as online diary entries.  While there are no rules over a blog’s length, I aim for 300 – 500 words. 

Why blog? As a marketing tool, blogs have many benefits.  They are short ‘snippets’ and can be easier to produce than say a newsletter.  Once published they can be updated and commented upon.  They have an extended shelf life as they remain published, and findable, on the internet until you remove them.  And … they can easily be shared.

When you start writing a business blog as well as the above benefits, there are a number of ‘side affects’ – 
1.  You tend to keep up to date on your industry/sector news.
2.  Your writing skills improve as you get better at communicating messages accurately and
     succinctly in 300-500 words.
3.  As you build a your library of blogs, you work your way through many aspect of your business,
     and therefore develop your idea’s, answers and opinions on ALL these aspects of your
4.  Blog’s bring many SEO benefits - Google likes changing content.

One thing to consider is how often you publish your blog.  Set a publishing frequency you can keep up with as your audience will expect you to be consistent.  When considering how many blogs per week or month allow 1-2 hours work per blog.

Remember - People buy from People they trust - Good blog content develops trust

Monday, 29 October 2012

Just what is going on with this security feature "reCAPTCHA" ?

Friday, 19 October 2012

Introduction to Pinterest

In my 8th blog in a series introducing Social Media I would like to introduce you to Pinterest.  
Pinterest allows you to share pictures or videos, like an on line picture board, or “pinboard”.  These may be your own pictures and videos or they may be pictures and videos you have found and wish to easily and quickly share with others, like visual bookmarking.   

Social Media is about getting your messages found by others.  So when a platform like www.pinterest.com  arrives making it easy to publish and share your visual content, positively encouraging others to share your content – and when this platform enjoys a meteoric rise in popularity – its time we had a looksee.

Lets deal with the terminology.  An image or video added to Pinterest is called a ‘Pin’.  Pins are added to a ‘PinBoard’, which is a collection of Pins with a common theme.  The act of sharing a Pin on a PinBoard is called ‘Pinning’.  If you like someone else’s pin and decide to repost it, this is a “Re-Pin”.  And finally, there’s the “Pin It Button” – this is a button placed on a website making it easy to share content onto Pinterest from the website – Pins added via the Pin It Button carry back links to the originating web site, which is good, very good. 
Take Social Media statistics with a pinch of salt, suffice to say all the charts and infograms are showing Pinterest has established itself in the top Social Networking sites.   Pinterest has the ability to take your message viral in hours, and Google is full of case studies - Googling “Pinterest  Success” and I received 25,400 results.

Finally - Pinterest is about to enjoy an explosion in popularity because until very recently you could only join Pinterest by invitation.   Now anyone can open a Pinterest account... so if you have visual content to share - now you have the means and ... its FREE.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

YouTube for Business

Hello, and welcome to our Seventh Social Media Blog.  Today - we are getting all creative and going multimedia.  This time we look at YouTube for promoting your business.

YouTube is a video hosting web site that will host up to HD quality videos up to 15 minutes in length, longer if you validate your account – and all for FREE.  Once your video is uploaded to YouTube, you can easily share this content via your social media channels, attach video’s to your LinkedIn Profile, company pages etc.  And easily embed your video’s on your websites.  Moreover – viewers can easily share your video too.

Why host your videos on YouTube ?  Well....
1.  YouTube is the world's largest video sharing website (300 hours of video loaded every minute)
2.  YouTube is the world’s second largest  search engine.
3.  YouTube is owned by Google
4.  It’s FREE, and you get analytical data on views, demographics, sources etc

Why use Video for Business?  Using video allows you to engage with clients allowing them to get to know you and your business.  Using video turns a static website, or profile into a dynamic, multimedia presence.  Video makes a viewer use more of their senses making your message more memorable.  And right now it is unlikely your competitors will be using video – so you can grab competitive advantage.

If you’re Worried who would watch you video, here’s some tips
1.  Introduce yourself and your business
2.  Make your video informative, educational and engaging
3.  DO NOT simply sell
4.  Consider offering training or instruction / user guides
5.  Close with a call to action and don’t forget Links to your web site

And finally – there are SEO benefits from using YouTube.  You can add keyword ‘tags’ to your YouTube video, these tags are indexed by search engines, remember Google own YouTube, which greatly enhances the chances of your video being found, not forgetting to use those important links back to your web site.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Facebook for Business

Hello, and welcome to our Sixth Social Media Blog. This month we look at the largest social media platform of them all – Facebook.  Why Facebook for Business?  How about, over 1.6 Billion active subscribers and the second most popular web site in the world. 

Most people consider Facebook as a social web site useful if you wish to market your business to consumers.  However, Facebook presents the usual opportunities for all businesses -
   - Get found by people searching for your products or services
   - Connect with existing and potential clients

   - Create communities around your products or services
   - Distribute your content
   - Generate leads for your business

With Facebook, people create and engage via their profiles.  Businesses use Pages (and Groups).   Facebook encourage this by offering functionality for business that is only available via pages.

Difference between Pages and Profiles.
 - Pages can have multiple administrators.
   - Pages are by default public, helping ranking in searches.
   - Pages are categorised by business type, helping with more focussed search ranking.
   - Personal Profiles have friends by reciprocal acceptance, anyone can be a fan of any page.

Facebook also have Groups, that can be used to create interest and promote your business.  

A Facebook Page is like a diary or blog.  You updated it. Use it to promote your business, website, or other entity.  Recent change - ‘Likers’ can also post. 
A Facebook Group is like a message board.  You moderate it, it has a purpose or focus, and contributions / conversations are posted to it by you and other members.

Creating a Facebook Page for your business is very easy and FREE, so - no excuses.  Check out http://www.pagemodo.com

Pages have a number of benefits –
   - Page updates appear in fans' news feed. 
   - Pages appear in the "suggestion" column. 
   - Pages are visible to non-Facebook users, and can be crawled by search engines.

AND Facebook Pages have their own URL - http://www.facebook.com/247BusinessNetworking

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Google Plus Features

Hello, and welcome to our Fifth Social Media Blog where we will explore the features of Google+. 
Last time we introduced Google Plus.   In a sentence, Google know ‘Social is Key’ and Google+ is all about being social.  Google+ makes it easy, very easy, to publish content rich information and get your messages in front of potential customers.  This time we will introduce some of the features of the Google+ web site

Stream - Simply a news feed of the latest content shared by the people you’re connected to on Google+, same as Facebook's news feed.  Posts are listed by age, you can “like” a post using google’s “+1”.  You can share posts with people you’re connected to.  You can post status updates via the “Share what’s new...” box.   And sharing pictures, video and web links is ... trivial. 

Circles – A crushingly simple way to organise your connections into social groups, “Professional”, “Family”, “Friends” etc.  This way Google gives you more control over who see’s your output and your content, by sharing posts only to members of a circle.  This works in both directions, you can control what content appears in your “stream” using Circles.  Making sharing online more like sharing in real life - different conversations with different people.

Hangouts  - Easy, quick video conferencing with up to 9 other people.  Organised, pre-arranged or casual by inviting people in your Circles that are already on line. Cool enough, but recent developments include – Integration with Google Docs, Sharing PC screens and a communal Sketchpad.  Update - Hangouts are now a separate tool available outside of Google+

Mobile – Google Plus has a mobile app (Google own the Android Operating System).  As well as Hangouts and Stream, two interesting app’s are - Messenger which allows a number of separate conversations to run simultaneously in one simple group chat.  Instant Upload which seamlessly and instantly uploads pictures to a private Google+ album, similar to Apple’s iCloud, but using DropBox.

Communities - This is Google+ equivalent to LinkedIn Groups.  Simply a forum to connect with people united by a common subject or interest.  Great places to meet people to network with, to share your content, to find other people's content, to discuss matters, ask and answer questions.

Pages - Have your business on google for free.  You can now have a Google+ Business Page, where your customers, and potential customers (as now you can be found on google searches, google maps, google+ and mobile)  and can connect and keep on top of your news and posts.  

Events - Google Plus Events contain the expected, usual, user-friendly features you see in typical online invitation sites, if you have used Facebook Events, then Google Plus Events will feel familiar.  

When you create your event, you get to choose from a number of different themed photos, or you can upload your own pictures or logo’s.  You get to name your event, give details  and instructions. And the remember this is Google so the location and directions can be viewed via Google Maps or Google Local - easily.

Where Google Plus Events wins over other online invitation offerings what Google refer to as Party Mode functions.  Where guests can contribute their own pictures during and after the event. And prior to an event, invitees can add comments.  Google Plus Events can be private to groups of individuals and circles, or made public for all users. You can search and browse public events, allowing an unrestricted number of Google+ users to access.

Searching – And finally Google Plus inevitably has excellent search functionality, some say its the next Google!!